Gigabyte, a company familiar to most as a maker of OEM and consumer motherboards, is expanding its server lineup. In 2012 we reviewed the Gigabyte GA-7PESLX, a dual LGA 1356 Intel Xeon E5 platform, as well as the Gigabyte GA-7PESH1 a dual Xeon E5 LGA 2011 platform. Today Gigabyte announced three new LGA 2011 motherboards, the GA-7PESH3, GA-7PESH4 and GA-6PXSV4. The former two are dual LGA 2011 offerings while the third is a single socket motherboard. Gigabyte is aggressively trying to expand their presence in the US market so expanding the offering landscape makes sense. Both the GA-7PESH3 and GA-6PXSV4 have feature sets that would gear them toward the workstation market while the GA-7PESH4 is clearly a server oriented design. Supermicro has built a billion dollar business starting with motherboards and moving into full server systems and that market is clearly a target for Gigabyte. One thing to mention is that Gigabyte does use Avocent IPMI which is highly configurable and different from what we often see in the MegaRAC solutions. Let’s take a look at each of the offerings in turn.
On unique feature Gigabyte mentions in their press release is the following feature regarding fully populated 1.35V RDIMM speeds supported:
Frequency supported with 16GB RDIMM 1.35V modules @ Full DIMM population
Achieved through GIGABYTE’s capabilities in design, PCB layout and BIOS fine-tuning, this feature will be most appreciated in the many workstation applications where improvements in memory frequency result in speeding up the user’s productivity and in all the industries relying on server applications where each incremental improvement in memory performance results in significant benefits, such as in finance.
Also, these three models are built with GIGABYTE’s digital PWM controllers, guaranteeing a dynamic power supply to the processor(s) and memory with an ultra-fast response time. Built with advanced calibration tools, they offer the purest and most efficient electrical supply to date. When the CPU workload varies in function of the applications running, the Intel Turbo Boost Technology will do a dynamic overclock of the CPU cores, where the digital PWMs outshine the previous analog solutions. This way the CPU operations are much more stable, and the overall reliability of the system is greatly improved.
The Gigabyte GA-7PESH3 is a workstation motherboard that handles dual Intel Xeon E5-2600 series CPUs. The motherboard is designed for a full tower case and accommodates four double-slot GPU/ co-processors such as NVIDIA Tesla and Intel Xeon Phi co-processors. For raw graphics processing it can also handle 4-way SLI and CrossFire X.
Another feature of the GA-7PESH3 is the onboard LSI SAS 2008 controller. That controller which provides SAS support for up to eight SAS 6Gbs drives. One can see that the GA-7PESH3 uses four DIMMs per CPU which allows for up to 128GB of DDR3 RDIMM ECC memory running at 1600MHz to be installed. Other typical workstation motherboard features are present such as onboard audio.
The Gigabyte GA-7PESH4 is the newly launched server offering from Gigabyte. One can see the layout is optimized for rackmount enclosure cooling because the CPUs are offset completely allowing cold airflow to reach both CPUs. The board uses a quad Intel i350 gigabit LAN controller which is quickly becoming the new standard.
One can see that the Gigabyte GA-7PESH4 has eight DIMM slots per CPU so it can accept up to 256GB of DDR3 RDIMM ECC memory running at 1600MHz. Also of note, there are two mini-SAS (SFF-8087) connectors to provide Intel 3.0gbps SAS capabilities from the C602 chipset.
Gigabyte also released the GA-6PXSV4 which is a single socket LGA 2011 solution based around the C604 chipset. It incorporates quad gigabit LAN connections with Intel 82574L controllers and supports iKVM functionality for those that want KVM-over-IP.
The Gigabyte GA-6PXSV4 supports 3-way NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFireX modes with three dual slot GPU or coprocessors. Since the Gigabyte GA-7PESH3 is C604 based, it can accept up to 128GB of DDR3 RDIMM ECC memory running at 1600MHz.
In the US, these can be purchased from Gigabyte at:
17358 Railroad St.
City of Industry, CA 91748